Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Music Part 2 - Merry Christmas Baby

This is part 2 of will likely be a running series of posts of Christmas music.  This time, I’ll talk about Otis Redding’s version of “ Merry Christmas Baby”.

The original version of the song is Johnny Moore’s Three Trailblazer’s (featuring Charles Brown on Vox and Keys) “Merry Christmas Baby” is fairly typical of West Coast Rhythm and Blues:

On the Westside, they tended to be more laid back, almost languid when compared to the Eastside. In some ways that holds true today. Compare Snoop Dogg to Eminem or Ice Cube to Chuck D. 

Charles Brown actually recorded a jazzier solo version of this song:

Most covers tend to be as bluesy as the Johnny Moore original. Here is Elvis’ version:

The bluesiest that Booker T & The MG’s might have ever gotten was with their cover of this song.

One of the interesting things about the original is that there’s this tension between the slow blues music combined with pretty happy lyrics. With Otis’ version, it’s as if he realized that this is a happy song, so why are we sounding so depressed? Again, Otis completely transforms the song to suit him.

Again, this song represents one big reason that Otis Redding is my favourite singer. He was a master at reinventing songs.

Friday, May 11, 2012

RIP Lloyd Brevett

In addition to Adam Yauch, the music world also lost Lloyd Brevett.  Lloyd Brevett was the original bassist for the Jamaican band The Skatalites.

The Beastie Boys - An Appreciation

On Friday March 4, Adam Nathanial Yauch succumbed to cancer at the age of 48.  Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, was one of the founding members of The Beastie Boys.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Music Part 1 - White Christmas

This blog started as a result of two guest posts on my friend Nicole Simone AKA Miss Late July’s site.  The first post was about Otis Redding and a discussion of his Christmas songs “White Christmas” and “Merry Christmas Baby”.  You can find it here:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sarah Tracey - Tell No One Review

Sarah Tracey’s new album Tell No One is a jazz album.  However, it’s so much more than that. Sarah Tracey has moved away from the typical Jazz Lounge sound and Tell No One represents a significant growth in her abilities.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Preview - Sarah Tracey - Tell No One

Sarah Tracey is a jazz singer in New York.  Her first full length album Tell No One, comes out today.  Using a theme of a secret spy agent, Tell No One lyrically explores the hidden side to us, while musically trying on different styles. This isn`t your typical Jazz lounge album. It`s better.